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Counting in Navajo

Language overview

Forty-two in Navajo Navajo (diné bizaad) is an Athabaskan language of the Dené-Yeniseian family spoken by the Navajo people in the south-western United States (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado) and in Mexico (Chihuahua, Sonora), with roughly 150,000 speakers.

  • 1 – tʼááłáʼí
  • 2 – naaki
  • 3 – tááʼ
  • 4 – dį́į́ʼ
  • 5 – ashdlaʼ
  • 6 – hastą́ą́
  • 7 – tsostsʼid
  • 8 – tseebíí
  • 9 – náhástʼéí
  • 10 – neeznáá
  • 11 – łáʼtsʼáadah
  • 12 – naakitsʼáadah
  • 13 – tááʼtsʼáadah
  • 14 – dį́į́ʼtsʼáadah
  • 15 – ashdlaʼáadah
  • 16 – hastą́ʼáadah
  • 17 – tsostsʼidtsʼáadah
  • 18 – tseebíítsʼáadah
  • 19 – náhástʼéítsʼáadah
  • 20 – naadiin
  • 30 – tádiin
  • 40 – dízdiin
  • 50 – ashdladiin
  • 60 – hastą́diin
  • 70 – tsostsʼidiin
  • 80 – tseebídiin
  • 90 – náhástʼédiin
  • 100 – tʼááłáhádí neeznádiin
  • 1,000 – tʼááłáhádí mííl
  • one million – tʼááłáhádí mííltsoh

Navajo numbering rules

Now that you’ve had a gist of the most useful numbers, let’s move to the writing rules for the tens, the compound numbers, and why not the hundreds, the thousands and beyond (if possible).

  • Numbers from one to ten are specific words, namely tʼááłáʼí [1], naaki [2], tááʼ [3], dį́į́ʼ [4], ashdlaʼ [5], hastą́ą́ [6], tsostsʼid [7], tseebíí [8], náhástʼéí [9], and neeznáá [10].
  • Numbers from eleven to nineteen are formed by adding the additive suffix -tsʼáadah (plus ten) to the matching digit: łáʼtsʼáadah [11], naakitsʼáadah [12], tááʼtsʼáadah [13], dį́į́ʼtsʼáadah [14], ashdlaʼáadah [15] (the suffix loses its initial tsʼ becoming -áadah when added to five, ashdlaʼ), hastą́ʼáadah [16], tsostsʼidtsʼáadah [17], tseebíítsʼáadah [18], and náhástʼéítsʼáadah [19].
  • Tens are formed by adding the multiplicative suffix -diin (times ten) to the matching digit: naadiin [20], tádiin [30], dízdiin [40], ashdladiin [50], hastą́diin [60], tsostsʼidiin [70], tseebídiin [80], and náhástʼédiin [90]. We can see a loss of the final consonant or a reduction in vowel length in the multiplier digit when adding the -diin suffix: naaki becomes naa-, tááʼ > tá-, dį́į́ʼ > díz-, ashdlaʼ > ashdla-, hastą́ą́ > hastą́-, tsostsʼid > tsostsʼi-, tseebíí > tseebí-, náhástʼéí > náhástʼé-, neeznáá > neezná-.
  • In compound numerals, the combining forms of the digits have irregular vowel and consonants changes. One is either łáaʼii (digit one), -łá’- (as in łáʼ-tsʼáadah [11]), or tʼááłáʼí (used in larger numbers and with a distributive plural prefix, like 100, 1,000, i.e. the powers of ten bigger than ten itself).
  • The compound numbers based on twenty and forty (21-29, 41-49) are formed by suffixing the unit digit to the ten digit (e.g.: naadįįnaaki [22], made of naadiin [20] and naaki [2], dízdįįłaʼ [41], made of dízdiin [40] and -łaʼ [1]). The -diin suffix appears in the combining form -dįį-.
  • The other compound numbers are formed by putting dóó baʼąą (meaning and in addition to it) between the ten and the unit (e.g.: tádiin dóó baʼąą ashdlaʼ [35], hastą́diin dóó baʼąą tseebíí [68]).
  • The word hundred (neeznádiin) is formed the same way as the tens, i.e. by adding the multiplicative suffix -diin (times 10) to ten itself. The hundreds are formed by adding the multiplicative enclitic -di to the matching digit multiplier, then a space and the word hundred: tʼááłáhádí neeznádiin [100], naakidi neeznádiin [200], táadi neeznádiin [300], dį́įʼdi neeznádiin [400], ashdladi neeznádiin [500], hastą́ądi neeznádiin [600], tsostsʼidi neeznádiin [700], tseebíidi neeznádiin [800], and náhástʼéidi neeznádiin [900].
  • The word thousand (mííl) comes from the Spanish mil. Thousands are formed the same way as hundreds: tʼááłáhádí mííl [1,000], naakidi mííl [2,000], táadi mííl [3,000], dį́įʼdi mííl [4,000]…
  • The word million (mííltsoh) is made by adding the morphem -tsoh (big) to mííl. Millions are formed the same way as hundreds and thousands: tʼááłáhádí mííltsoh [1 million], naakidi mííltsoh [2 million]…

Write a number in full in Navajo

Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Navajo. Will you guess how to write a number in full? Enter a number and try to write it down in your head, or maybe on a piece of paper, before displaying the result.

Books

Dine Bizaad: Speak, Read, Write Navajo Dine Bizaad: Speak, Read, Write Navajo
by , editors Salina Bookshelf (1995)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Colloquial Navajo: A Dictionary Colloquial Navajo: A Dictionary
by , editors Hippocrene Books (1994)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Parlons navajo : mythes, langue et culture Parlons navajo : mythes, langue et culture
by , editors L’Harmattan (2002)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Athapaskan languages

Carrier, Dogrib, Hupa, Navajo, Siletz dee-ni, Tlingit, and Tolowa.

Other supported languages

As the other currently supported languages are too numerous to list extensively here, please select a language from the full list of supported languages.

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